NBA trade rumors are in full swing as Thursday's draft approaches, but it appears the Bulls won't be moving up to No. 3 in a potential deal involving Jimmy Butler.

ESPN's Marc Stein reported Tuesday night that the Celtics, owners of that third pick, were unable to swing a deal for Butler, Utah's Gordon Hayward or one of Milwaukee's Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker.

Boston has three first-round picks - Nos. 3, 16, 23 - and five additional selections in the second round and were hoping to use them to form a package for a veteran star.

But Stein reported that the Bulls "continue to show little interest in dealing Butler to the Celtics, who previously tried to trade for him before the league’s annual deadline in February."

Stein also wrote that Utah and Milwaukee have been telling inquiring teams that the aforementioned three players are unavailable. That's different from the Bulls and Butler, after general manager Gar Forman said in April the front office would "explore all options" and that he didn't "think there's anything off the table" following the Bulls' disappointing 42-40 campaign.

Considering their assets, which include role players in Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley, the Celtics appeared to be a much more realistic trading partner for the Bulls.

A report surfaced last week that the Minnesota Timberwolves were interested in dealing their No. 5 overall pick to the Bulls for Butler. A second report followed, saying that the Bulls would only entertain that idea if the Wolves surrendered 21-year-old budding star Andrew Wiggins.


At this point, with two days until the draft, it's looking more likely that Butler will remain with the Bulls.